For the last nine years or so, I have been fortunate enough to have a clinic in Mexico City, Mexico, where I perform injury rehabilitation massage work along with stretching and flexibility training. I travel to Mexico once or twice a year and even have plans to work there for a week at the end of May.
Over the past few days, however, as news of swine flu (i.e., swine influenza & A/H1N1 infection) has spread, along with the incidence of infection, I have become very concerned about my patients and friends in Mexico City and have started to question even my own travel plans. Although I love my work and clients in Mexico, with two little children at home in California, I’m not sure if it is worth the risk.

Although I am usually the first one to say body work can help in almost every situation, I am sorry to say that it does not help when you present symptoms associated with the flu. Instead, massage tends to over-stimulate toxins and exacerbate the symptoms related with influenza. So, what do you do to get some relief when you have the flu? Here are some suggestions:

1. Contact you doctor immediately and follow his or her instructions.
2. Then, if you doctor agrees:

  • Soak your body for at least 15 minutes in a warm bath with mineral salts (this will help draw toxins out so that the immune system can attack them head on).
  • Sleep as much as you can (seriously, this allows the immune system to do its work).
  • Drink lots of fluids (especially water, healthy juices, and herbal tea — all of which generally tend to help flush toxins out of the body).

To learn more about swine influenza and the A/H1N1 infection, visit the World Health Organization’s Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response webpage, and if you’re thinking of traveling during the outbreak like I am, be sure to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travel Notices webpage.